Greater Vancouver Regional Indicators: 2020 Region in Review
Region in Review gathers metrics on quality of life and economic prosperity to provide a snapshot of how Greater Vancouver performed over the past 12 months.
Unsurprisingly 2020 was a challenging year for our region. COVID-19 has forced many businesses to close their doors, it has also prompted a stark drop in travel, tourism, employment levels, alongside a dip in population growth. Meanwhile, housing prices have surged, exacerbating pre-existing affordability challenges.
It’s not all bad news however. On the bright side, the Greater Vancouver saw an upswing in net new housing units, port activity remained robust, and emissions continue to decrease, pointing the way forward to our region’s economic recovery.
Region in Review Analysis
Business and Employment Impacts
- 4,380 fewer active businesses in Greater Vancouver compared to the onset of the pandemic.
- Between Dec 2019 and Dec 2020, the region lost 40,700 jobs. Toronto and Montreal recovered more jobs and more quickly compared to Greater Vancouver, only to decline in the last months of 2020 due to greater COVID-19 restrictions.
Continues to be a challenge importance of redoubling efforts
- In 2020 the region built 19,846 new housing units (net), 2,792 more units compared to the same period in 2019. However, housing starts are down by 5,645 units (YTD Nov).
- At $1,047,400, Greater Vancouver’s benchmark price for all residential units increased 5.4% in 2020 (Y-o-Y Dec), remaining the highest in Canada and reflecting the first y-o-y increase in two years. For detached homes, the composite home price exceeded $1.55 million, an increase of 10.2% y-o-y.
- The Port of Vancouver’s total cargo volumes (YTD Oct 2020) are on par with volumes recorded at the same time last year while container volumes are 1% above the 2019 volume (YTD Nov 2020).
- Passenger traffic at YVR is down 17.2 million passengers or 85.3% compared to last year (YTD Nov 2020), while air cargo has recovered to near normal levels.
- The overall office vacancy rate and sublet space in Greater Vancouver increased by 42% and 129.4% respectively over the last year. Changes were particularly pronounced in the very tight downtown Vancouver sublet market, which increased by a staggering 383% since Q3 2019.
- Investment in tech remained strong, with stable levels of funding entering Greater Vancouver. Venture capital in the region*, exceeded $1.18 billions 2020 ranging from $246 million to $390 million per quarter.
Summary of Indicators
CMA Population | Jan - Dec 2020
Rennie. Rennie Intelligence Projections Models. Summary of Historical & Projected Population: GVRD (Metro Vancouver).
Unemployment rate and Employment | Dec 2019-Dec 2020
Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0295-02 Labour force characteristics by Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver census metropolitan areas, monthly, seasonally adjusted
Transit Boardings | Jan-Sept 2020
Housing Affordability (housing prices) | Jan-Dec 2020
The Canadian Real Estate Association. MLS® Home Price Index (HPI).
Net new Housing | Jan-Nov 20
Statistics Canada. Table 34-10-0143-01 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, housing starts, under construction and completions in centres 10,000 and over, Canada, provinces, selected census metropolitan areas.
Statistics Canada. Table 34-10-0066-01 Building permits, by type of structure and type of work.
GHG per Capita | Jan-Dec 2020
A Metro Vancouver interpolation for 2020, based on Metro Vancouver. Performance Monitoring Dashboard – Air Quality & Climate Change.
Number of Businesses | Jan-Sept 2020
Statistics Canada. Table 33-10-0270-01 Experimental estimates for business openings and closures for Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas, seasonally adjusted.
Airport Traffic | Jan-Nov 2020
YVR. Traffic Update: November 2020.
Port Traffic | Jan-Oct 2020
Port of Vancouver. Cargo Statistics Report - 2 pager. YTD: Oct 2020 vs Oct 2019.
Office Vacancy | Q3 2020
CBRE. Canada Office and Industrial Quarter Stats Q3 2019; CBRE Canada Office and Industrial Quarter Stats Q3 2020
Venture Capital | Q4 2019-Q3 2020
Hockeystick. BC Tech Report Q3 2020, Presented by Silicon Valley Bank.